Mandatory e-payment service for restaurants in Saudi comes into force

The initiative is being implemented in cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and SAMA

  
Image used for illustrative purpose.9 Payment terminal held by waiter for credit card payment.

Image used for illustrative purpose.9 Payment terminal held by waiter for credit card payment.

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RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has made it mandatory for all cafes and restaurants in the Kingdom to provide electronic payment methods to customers in order to reduce cash circulation and enable consumers to rely on electronic payments.

The move, which is part of the initiative launched by the National Program to Combat Commercial Cover-up (tasattur), has come into force from Tuesday (July 29), the Saudi Press Agency reported.

According to the report, the program has applied its fifth stage of the initiative to compel retail stores and outlets to provide electronic payment methods, which so far has covered 50 commercial activities, covering 70 percent of the retail sector.

The remaining 30 percent of all retail activities must implement electronic payment services by Aug. 25.

The initiative is being implemented in cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

The first phase of the initiative covered gas stations and its services while workshops and stores for auto parts and related activities were covered in the second phase. The third phase included personal services activities such as laundry, carpets and men’s and women’s salons, while the fourth phase targeted groceries and supply stores.

The fifth obligatory phase includes restaurants serving food for parties, fast food, seafood, public and popular cafes, buffets, cafeterias, trucks selling food in street, as well as juice and ice cream shops.

The Ministry of Commerce said that it will monitor the sales outlets and ensure the availability of electronic payment services in all of them, as if it refuses to provide them, it will apply "the maximum legal penalties for non-compliant establishments," according to the Saudi Press Agency.

This comes in implementation of the recommendations approved by the highest authorities to combat commercial cover-up and uniting efforts between various government-related sectors to combat commercial cover-up. The introduction of electronic payment services is also part of the Kingdom’s ambitious drive to become a cashless society.

 

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